Is an Encrypted Social Network Possible? Three Montreal Computer Students Say Yes


Syme brings privacy to your group conversations by encrypting everything you share.

With the look of Google Plus and Facebook-like elements, a new social network named “Syme” feels as cozy as a well-worn shoe. But beneath the familiar veneer, it’s quite different. Syme encrypts all content, such as status updates, photos and files, so that only people invited to a group can view it. Syme, which hosts the content on its Canada-based servers, says it can’t read it.

“The overarching goal of Syme is to make encryption accessible and easy to use for people who aren’t geeks or aren’t hackers or who aren’t cryptography experts,” said co-founder Jonathan Hershon.

SYME is a revolutionary new idea in social media brought to us by three Canadian computer students fed up with NSA-style spying on every single move they make online.

The folks at Canada-based social network startup Syme are hoping that enough people are fed up with the NSA-style spying on citizens around the world, and that it will spark a mess exodus off Facebook and Google+ and onto encrypted alternatives.

Syme is precisely that, an ultra-private social network where you can create an encrypted group environment where you can socialize with friends or colleagues inside of an environment that is, according to Syme creators, even hidden from the social network administrators. Further bolstering the claim of ultimate privacy is a message that pops up when you enter your password for the first time, that it won’t be possible for Syme to reset your password at any point, so remembering it is critical.

From the SYME website:

Syme is a group sharing tool that puts your security and privacy first using end-to-end encryption. This ensures that only you and the people you communicate with can access what you share. Even we, as the service provider, can never access the content of your groups.

Encrypt what you share

Your posts are encrypted before they leave your computer. This is done with AES-256 symmetric and ECC-384 asymmetric encryption.

Share with confidence

Only your group members have the keys to decrypt your posts. No one else has access. Not even us.

Simple and easy to use

Anyone can use Syme. You can set up a groups for your friends, family and colleagues in less than a minute.

What is Syme?

Syme is an experimental project that puts forward a new way to share securely and privately with groups.

What makes Syme different from [insert group sharing application here]?

Everything you share on Syme is encrypted before it leaves your computer. Only your group members hold the key. This means that we never have access to the content that you share.

Isn’t web security really hard? How can anything in the browser environment ever be secure or private?

We admit it’s really, really hard. Simply put, no web privacy or security measure can ever be 100% efficient. However, just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s not worth working on. Cryptography is still one of the best ways to enhance our privacy when we share online.

There are people working on web privacy and security from many angles. Syme’s main contribution [geeky jargon alert] lies in exploring the feasibility of a decentralized key infrastructure that uses end-to-end encryption to enable persistent multiparty communication and secure key exchanges on minimally trusted servers. Basically, we’re trying to create a group sharing tool where the service provider never has access to what users share.

Where are your servers located?

Our servers are located in Canada, a recognized leader in privacy legislation. Canada is governed by the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), a European Union approved privacy law.

Is Syme in active development?

Yes. We’re currently in public beta and constantly working to make Syme more secure, easy to use, and beautiful.

Is it open source?

Soon. We’ve already started releasing our code on Github. You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for news on the latest releases.

Will you release Syme on other platforms?

Syme will soon be available on Firefox and Safari in addition to Chrome. We will look into building mobile and desktop apps in the near future.

Why the name?

Syme is the name of a character from George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. Syme was “vaporized” by the Party because he remained a freethinking intellectual.

Read more about Syme at

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